The president of Connie Lee Insurance Co. last week defended his efforts to broaden the company's mandate, saying the bond insurer is seeking greater latitude because the largest private insurers have abandoned it as a reinsurance option.

Publicly discussing expansion for the first time, Oliver Sockwell, president and chief executive officer of Connie Lee, said the biggest players in the bond insurance business - AMBAC Indemnity Corp., Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., and Municipal Bond Investors Assurance Corp. - are not ceding premiums to Connie Lee.

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